In the world we live, money – and everything it represents – is the greatest value. Isn’t it interesting that the dollar bill shows the saying “In God we trust“? Nobody asks people why they spend all their life energy on image and work, even “giving their souls” to serve the interests of a company. Our value is defined by what we do and how successful we are in our achievements. Most human beings devote their lives to the values defined by the mainstream, without questioning or reflecting on the harmful consequences for their own lives and their surroundings.
The word devotion is not frequently used in the western world, and it is very poorly understood. In my experience, being a devotee means putting your love, your life energy, at the service of something. One day my mother told me that she found it strange that I devote my life to my Master and always prioritize being in retreats with him; she thought it was too much. Without reacting, I managed to stop and think before answering: “yes mother, it is true that I devote my life to this, but if you think about it, everyone devotes their lives to something; to work, to a company, to a career, to family, to success, to money. I devote my life to find out who I am in the essence, to discover love, to live in awareness, in peace, and that is what my master represents to me; he teaches me how to live what I seek the most, that’s why I made this choice to devote my life to this path ”.
In 2018, I spent two months in Ladakh, northern India, and I had numerous opportunities to observe devotion as an intrinsic part of the culture and the way people from that area live. They are simple and extremely intelligent, fully connected with nature and its religious principles. I had an incredible chance to go to a meeting with the Dalai Lama and his 40,000 devotees. Entire families, from grandparents to babies, monks from different schools, and people who fled Tibet to be able to be there, in their master’s enlightened presence. It was impressive to feel the silence and harmony present in that intense atmosphere of love and devotion.
Throughout history, there have always been people who “chose” to follow their own path, devoting their lives to something untouchable, but very real – the most genuine longing of their hearts. In the east, these drop outs, in the sense of living “outside” of the values of the society, are known as sannyasins, or simply disciples, those who want to learn. They are highly respected in the society, as they leave the worldly values to devote themselves to the path of spiritual awakening. Contrarily to what many people think, this choice to follow the path of awakening is extremely challenging, since it is a narrow and often obscure journey. That’s why the master is necessary; he is like a lighthouse in the dark night. He points the way, the direction, and more than that, he is the real proof that this human existence is a gift and that it is possible to live as an “awakened being”. For me, devoting my life to this realization is in itself a grace.
And you, what do you devote your existence to?
Sana is a devotee of Vasant Swaha, enjoying and exploring the way back to her true nature. She loves to share herself through Integration Craniossacral sessions and workshops of meditations. Living closer to nature is her biggest joy.